No Disney World vacation is really complete without a visit to Blizzard Beach. This is Disney’s most exciting water park with water slides to satisfy those guests who really do want to travel at 60 miles per hour into the water (the infamous Blizzard Beach Summit Plummet)as well as those who simply want to relax and drift around aimlessly in a raft around the park. Disney Blizzard Beach has something for everyone.
The concept? The idea is that Disney’s Blizzard Beach was formed after a particularly cold winter in Florida when it actually snowed. Of course the snow did not last long in the sunshine state and it all melted. But the mountains and ski lifts remained and all the water melted to form a lagoon.
This was of course the perfect Disney irony as Blizzard Beach opened on 1st April 1995. So now Disney World guests have two choices of water park with this snowy paradise and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.
What exactly will you find at Blizzard Beach? How much are the tickets? When is the best time to visit? Follow this comprehensive guide to get the very most out of your visit!
Disney World Water Park Tickets
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There are two ways to buy your Disney Water Park Tickets
1. You can buy a separate ticket to spend a day at Blizzard Beach. This is $47.93 for adults and $36.21 for a child aged 3 to 9.
2. Buy a ticket to the Disney World parks which includes the water parks as part of the Disney Magic Your Way Ticket. The cost to add the Water Park Fun and More option is $55.38. The number of visits will depend upon the amount of days in your Magic Your Way Ticket. If you are planning a visit to a water park more than once, or to a water park and Disney Quest then it is usually cheaper to add on the Water Park Fun and More option to your ticket.
Annual passes are also available so that you can visit Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon as many times as you want in the year. The rate for this is $106.45 for adults and $85.73 for children aged 3 to 9.
Blizzard Beach Opening Times
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The Disney Water Parks close for about 3 months of the year for maintenence and rehab works. When one is closed the other will be open. For 2011 Blizzard Beach will be closed from 9th January 2011 to 19th March 2011.
The park opens daily from 9am until 5pm.
Blizzard Beach Summit Plummet
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Summit Plummet is the most extreme water slide at Blizzard Beach. A white knuckle ride on water! Travel at up to 60 miles per hour and drop 13 stories on the ultimate water slide. Blizzard Beach Summit Plummet is very popular so arrive early unless you want to stand in line for a long time. Also ladies the best advice is to wear a one piece. It happens every day that someone loses their modesty on this slide when they lose a part of their bikini! Guests must be at least 48″ tall to ride Summit Plummet.
If Summit Plummit is not for you then try the slightly slower – only 50 miles per hour – Slusher Gusher. The height requirement is 48″.
Blizzard Beach Double Gusher is a lot of fun. The Double Dipper has 2 side by side 50 foot long water slides where you can race against a fellow guest to see who reaches the bottom first. For this slide you ride in an inner tube and can reach up to 25 mph. The height requirement is 48″ and the catch pool is 54″ deep.
Picture by gnislew
Every ski resort has to have a lift and of course Blizzard Beach has one of it’s own! You can walk to the top of the water slides up the stairs or you can take Blizzard Beach Chair Lift. At busy times long lines do form so you may want to use up some energy and use the stairs before you plummet down the slide! The height requirement for the Chair Lift is 32″.
There are no height restrictions for Runoff Rapids. This is a 600 foot inner tube ride with 3 slides to choose from. The slides twist and turn. There are 2 slides which are open and can take 2 people. The third choice is an enclosed slide for just one rider.
Snow Stormers is one of my personal favorites. There are 3 slides which are each 350 feet long and each rider slides along face down on a mat. The water in the catch pool is 3″ 9′ so it is a good one for smaller children. The Toboggan Racers are also a good choice for younder ones as this 250′ slide has a zero entry pool at the bottom.
A great ride for the whole family is Teamboat Springs. This is the largest family white water raft attraction in the world for families. Teamboat Springs is 1200′ long. The rafts take between 4 and 6 people at a time.
Cross Country Creek
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Pick up an inner tube and sail around Cross Country Creek. I have to admit that this is one of my favorite ways to spend my time at Blizzard Beach. The journey right around the park takes around half and hour but you can hop on and off at any of the 7 entry points. You can even swim around without the tube so you can pretend that you are getting at least some exercise. The landscaping around the Creek is beautiful.
Blizzard Beach Ski Patrol Training Camp
This is the area specifically designed for children and is packed with things for them to do including ice berg walks and small slides. There is a T Bar attraction which drops into a very deep pool. Guests often do not realize that this pool is over 8 feet deep and so you have to be a very confident swimmer here. So beware. Always have children wear the free life jackets in all areas of Blizzard Beach unless they are strong swimmers.
For the very little ones there is Tike’s Peak where only those 48″ and under can play. As you can imagine this area gets extremely busy so grab your spot early if you have younger children.
Melt Away Bay is the large pool at the foot of Mount Gushmore. This is a very gentle wave pool which is also very popular. Guests tend to gravitate towards this area for seating so once again if you want to sit here then arrive early.
Food At Blizzard Beach
There are of course plenty of places to buy food at Blizzard Beach but to save money you may want to think about bringing your own. Yes Disney really does allow you to bring a cooler and food to Blizzard Beach. Use your common sense as to how much you will bring – so long as you can physically carry the cooler you should not meet any objection from the Cast Members. The only restriction is that you cannot bring in any alcohol or glass containers.
But if you don’t bring your own food you won’t go hungry as there are plenty of fast food eating places in Blizzard Beach. You will find turkey legs,hot dogs and ice cream in Avalunch. The Cooling Hut for ice cream and pop corn. Frostbite Freddie’s for beer and frozen drink specialties. Frosting the Joe Man for coffee. Funnel Cakes for funnel cakes and cotton candy. Polar Pub for frozen drinks and beer. Sled Dogs Expeditions serves ice cream sundaes. Mini Donuts serves just that! The Warming Hut serves hot dogs,turkey legs and ice cream.
There is one counter service restaurant in Blizzard Beach and this is the Lottawotta Lodge. It has the usual fast food favorites of burgers,pizza,sandwiches and salads. Healthy options are very difficult to find at Blizzard Beach so if this is important to you be sure to bring your own food.
When Should I Visit Blizzard Beach?
The Disney Water Parks are popular and will close when they get to capacity – they have to for safety reasons.
Arrive early. Get to Blizzard Beach around 45 minutes before the published opening time with your ticket in your hand or ready to use one of the automated ticket machines. Then you will get a head start on every one else. It is useful to know which attraction you want to prioritize so if you want to go on Summit Plummet then head there first.
Disney Water parks also close for safety reasons in a rainstorm. Often the storm passes and the park opens again. Most of the guests will leave at this point. If you think that the storm may pass over then it may be worth waiting around for the park to open – you will be one of only a few who do and you will have a much quiter park once the storm is over.
Playing the weather game can backfire though. Look at the weather forecast before you go to Blizzard Beach.No rain checks are offered at Disney. If you are in the park and it closes and you don’t go back there are no refunds on your tickets.
Another tip if you arrive early is to bypass the lockers. Just wear your swim gear under shorts and a shirt and wear flip flops or shoes you can wear in the water. The lines at the lockers can sometimes be as long and slow as for the slides so by the time you have secured your locker you have lost you early morning advantage! For those who need lockers these are available for $13 for a small one and $15 for a large including a $5 refundable deposit for your locker key. You can also rent towels for $2 each.
If you are a Disney Resort guest then you can take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours at Blizzard Beach. This is a great time to visit as the park opens every morning one hour earlier than for non Disney guests and also some days stays open for an extra 3 hours. Be sure to check the current Extra Magic Hours Schedule when you arrive at your resort.
Always stay safe. There are free life jackets of all sizes available at Snowless Joes if you leave a photo ID and a $25 refundable deposit. Remember your waterproof sun screen and stay in the shade whenever you can. The Florida sun is hot and you don’t want to spoil the perfect day at Blizzard Beach with a sun burn.